Destination Devastation; An interview with Justin Pearson of Dead Cross

Although the “supergroup” tag is likely to follow closely behind any mention of Dead Cross, and that much is basically is true, it also seems a bit pedestrian considering the gravity of the collaborators and comrades, whose previous bands include Locust, Faith No More and Slayer among others. Perhaps it is better described in these terms; a pitch black, Earth shrouding eclipse resulting from some of the most sinister musical minds lining up in spectacularly horrific fashion. And according to Justin Pearson, producer Ross Robinson is the evil genius to credit for the devastating phenomenon.

“[Ross] initially put [Dave Lombardo and me] in the same room. He had hit me up to work on a session for a friend of his, and Lombardo was playing drums. I had met Dave years ago when The Locust and Fantomas toured together. So we were already acquainted. It was also Ross’ idea to have Mike Crain play guitar on the session as well. So the initial lineup was already in place without anyone realizing it.

“[Later] Dave wanted to put his own thing together, in hopes to play a few shows and Crain and I were in the picture. I suggested Gabe Serbian sing and Dead Cross was born… upside down.”

Before the band had even played a note together, Dead Cross’ earliest shows were on the books.

“I think we had twelve days to get a live set together,” Pearson recalls.

The group also made a beeline for the studio last year with Robinson at the helm. However, not long after that, the band encountered its first shakeup when Serbian left the band. That’s when Lombardo called on friend and former collaborator Mike Patton.

“I had suggested Patton once we were aware that Gabe was leaving but I think we collectively had our doubts that he would sign up.”

With Patton on board, the resulting self-titled effort delivers 28 minutes of turbocharged ragers that are slathered in his trademarked manic vocal acrobatics. The record saw release via Ipecac on August 4 and Pearson is quick to highlight some of his favorite moments.

“I’m a big fan of the lyrics for one. You certainly can’t go wrong with stuff like ‘Blow out the candles on the urinal cake’ or ‘Unplanned parenthood, eat shit and fuck good.’ I also love how Ross captured the energy as well as the tone of the instruments, and of course hearing Dave’s impeccable drumming is an obvious moment on its own.”

He is, however, reluctant to cop to this being the band’s best effort.

“In all honesty, I think we can do much better than the LP that we are about to release,” Pearson confesses. “Where there is something special to say about the absurdity and urgency of the album we have on deck, I think with a bit more precision and also finding our collective skin, we can knock the shit out of what we come up with. Patton was psyched on the initial material, so with more time and effort, I hope he will be down to continue with this band.”

“If people dig it, rad! I’m certainly grateful for that. If people hate it, well, that is pretty good too. I would like to just avoid people being indifferent. I think overall, the album is a reflection of current times. It makes sense.” 

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